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Reviewer: Dawn Felagund Signed [Report This]
Date: January 05, 2017 - 06:49 pm
Title: The Fourth

This was nicely written. I must confess that the story of Beren and Luthien has never moved me much, but the way you describe Beren--especially that powerful last paragraph--makes me see the story differently. I liked especially the shifts in time, how the present story in fact occupies so little of the text but most is looking back, explaining how Consael came to be here. I've always found the episode in Tol-in-Gaurhoth to be one of the most horrifying in the Silm to imagine. You've succeeded in putting faces and identities to some of the Elves who bravely went forth with Finrod, and yet I don't come out of this story with my usual sense of horror for that particular episode but with admiration and new understanding.



Author's Response:

I’ll admit I was one that initially breezed through Beren and Lúthien without giving their story and the complexity and richness of their characters the attention deserved until I read fanfic. Now with all my subsequent re-reads of the Silm. text and "The Lay of Leithian" I adore them; and their story might be my favorite from Tolkien. Especially the richness and drama of Beren.

As I said to another reviewer for this story (who also left with a greater appreciation for Beren): Consael's story being the story of Beren inspiring others to courage and admiration was not how I planned it to be, but organically grew up around that theme as I wrote out the story of where Consael came from. 

There’s a quote by Lois McMaster Bujold from Cordelia’s Honor that I consider some of the best lines from an extremely well-crafted series, and it influenced how this fic evolved, especially the second-to-last line of this fic.

“He wanted to know what I saw in you. I told him . . ." he paused again, and then continued almost shyly, "that you poured out honor like a fountain, all around you."

"That's weird. I don't feel full of honor, or anything else, except maybe confusion."

"Naturally not. Fountains keep nothing for themselves." (pg 241)

Pouring honor out like a fountain, keeping none for themselves, spoke to me of Beren (and Lúthien and Finrod) and contrasted nicely to the complete opposite, Celegorm and Curufin.


Consael is the fifth of ten original characters with backstories to flesh out and perspectives on this episode of imprisonment and death in Tol-in-Gaurhoth to show while avoiding staleness. As an author, some have felt more successful than others, but I’ve yet to feel that I’ve retread ground, even when the sister-story/sequel is about another original elven character detailing his imprisonment in Angband and that his early chapters have the same general concept of heavy flashbacks to life in Nargothrond. (Self-evaluating: the minor focus on the actual imprisonment of Beren’s companions in Tol-in-Gaurhoth probably has a great deal to do with how much I’ve spent writing about those long years of imprisonment in Angband. That, trying to refrain from too much explicit gore and horror, and that the series is only a little about how the ten died and more about who and why.)


Reviewer: heget Signed [Report This]
Date: December 28, 2016 - 09:21 pm
Title: The Fourth

I knew with this series I wanted one of the elves to have been an 'outsider', one who didn't owe a life debt to mortal bravery, and when I was inspired to loosely base one of the elves on Robb Stark from ASoIaF, that brought in Robb's wife and in-laws who been pre-wedding had bannermen of Robb's enemy, having their parallel characters be Celegorm and Curufin's people from Himlad that increased Nargothrond's strength was a tidy parallel. As I wrote Consael's history out, I realized that his perspective wasn't completely the outsider. That thanks to the Nan Dungortheb (and like Lúthien having close oppotunity to compare Celegorm to Beren and see the actual superior), Consael had more knowledge of Beren in one way than others. And I can't overlook any opportunity to bring up just how incredible Beren was, so I'm glad both components worked!

Aglar's a much larger character in Release from Bondage and his slot in this series (third on the list) is, like Bân, one that by necessity of a detailed established backstory much longer than the others. To be honest, his might be the last I finish writing.

Reviewer: Himring Signed [Report This]
Date: December 28, 2016 - 07:06 pm
Title: The Fourth

I like the description of Beren and how you motivate Consael's admiration of him!

I'm not getting a very clear picture of Aglar--but I guess he will have his own piece, in time.



Author's Response:

I knew with this series I wanted one of the elves to have been an 'outsider', one who didn't owe a life debt to mortal bravery, and when I was inspired to loosely base one of the elves on Robb Stark from ASoIaF, that brought in Robb's wife and in-laws who been pre-wedding had bannermen of Robb's enemy, having their parallel characters be Celegorm and Curufin's people from Himlad that increased Nargothrond's strength was a tidy parallel. As I wrote Consael's history out, I realized that his perspective wasn't completely the outsider. That thanks to the Nan Dungortheb (and like Lúthien having close oppotunity to compare Celegorm to Beren and see the actual superior), Consael had more knowledge of Beren in one way than others. And I can't overlook any opportunity to bring up just how incredible Beren was, so I'm glad both components worked!

Aglar's a much larger character in Release from Bondage and his slot in this series (third on the list) is, like Bân, one that by necessity of a detailed established backstory much longer than the others. To be honest, his might be the last I finish writing.




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